Of all the spellbinding music that has originated in Los Angeles’ Low End Theory scene over the last five+ years, Teebs’ has got to be some of the most beautiful. Calling it “sample-based down-tempo” doesn’t quite do it justice. There are not enough adjectives in the world to adequately describe his hip-hop-fried studio concoctions: shimmering, hypnotic, de-lovely, whatever. Head-nodding. Birdman-hand-rubbing (sorry for gifin’). His tracks sound like Daenerys Targaryen’s hair looks, like fresh strawberries taste, like jumping in the ocean feels. It’s great.
Cold hard facts, though: Mtendere Mandowa grew up just outside Los Angeles. He came up skateboarding. When an Achilles tendon injury left him holed up in Chino Hills for a year, Mandowa had an opportunity to focus on his art. Like Peter Parker or Bruce Banner before him, Mandowa found that the accident had bestowed upon him a great, strange power. By the time he healed, he had become Teebs: visual artist and producer extraordinaire.
Teebs found natural collaborators in his older brother and his friends. Together, they formed an art collective called “My Hollow Drum.” As the crew’s profile rose, Teebs interned at Dublab and found the confidence to apply to the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy, held in Barcelona. He got in, he met Flying Lotus, and the rest is kind of history. FlyLo (do you mind if I call him FlyLo?) invited the fledgling artist to live in the same building as him and fellow Brainfeeder Samiyam, where he painted up a storm and began work on debut LP Ardour, which came out on Flying Lotus’s label in 2010. Collections 01 followed in 2011. No word on any upcoming musical projects — he seems to work just as hard on his equally beautiful paintings — but we certainly haven’t heard the last of Teebs.
Teebs will be joining his Brainfeeder counterparts (Flying Lotus and Thundercat) on Sunday May 12th at House of Blues Boston. This show is sold out, but purchasing an all access weeklong pass will ensure entry.